A founding Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, the Vermont Chapter for the SFN was already in existence when the national SFN was established. Dr. Dave Whitehorn, who came to UVM from the University of Utah to join the department of Physiology and Biophysics, in conjunction with a core group of neuroscientists at UVM, was instrumental in establishing the Vermont Chapter for the SFN and was the Chapter’s first President. The first national meeting of the SFN was held in Washington DC in the autumn of 1971.
The Vermont Chapter grew from an already existing core group of UVM faculty who viewed themselves in the larger context of neuroscience. There was an active physiological psychology group in the Psychology department, including Bruce Kapp (who was one of the VT Chapters later presidents) and Steve Goldstein. Additionally, in Anatomy and Neurobiology, Joe Wells was doing very early work on neuronal transplants. Another major contributor to the chapter’s formation was Edie Hendley, who was in Physiology & Biophysics.
The Vermont Chapter for the SFN had a number of activities in the early years. The President of UVM provided funding to bring in a series of world class speakers on the topic of mental disorders, from a wide range of perspectives. One of these talks was given by Dr. Seymour Kety, a world renowned scientist, who received the Albert Lasker Award for basic medical research in 1999 and served as the first scientific director of NIMH.
Since then the VT Chapter for the SFN has enjoyed good years and prevailed through lean times. Chapter membership has grown recently to over 80 members and 2005 marked the first annual retreat at Stowe Mountain Resort under the leadership of the then President, Dr. Diane Jaworski (Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UVM).